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Pacers 82, Knicks 71

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers didn't have a hangover from being blown out by the New York Knicks in Game 2.

The Pacers used the three days between games to regroup, refocus and regain the lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series.

Pacers center Roy Hibbert scored a career playoff-high 24 points and had 12 rebounds to lead Indiana to 82-71 victory in front of sellout crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday night.

The Pacers lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Game 4 is Tuesday night back at the fieldhouse.

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 21 points on only 6-of-16 shooting from the field. The Pacers held New York to 35 percent shooting from the floor.

The Pacers needed Hibbert's offensive performance because David West, Paul George and George Hill, the team's top three scoring threats, all struggled shooting the ball.

West was 4 of 11, Hill was 5 of 16 and George was 4 of 17.

The Pacers put an emphasis on wanting to stop turning the ball over so much.

It didn't look like they spent much time working on the Knicks' defensive pressure in the first half because the Pacers turned the ball over 10 times in the first 24 minutes of the game. Luckily for Indiana, the Knicks only scored 11 points off those turnovers.

A poor shooting half by both teams allowed the Knicks to go into the half trailing only 36-33.

The Pacers got some breathing room in the third quarter. Hibbert's two free throws gave Indiana a 58-44 lead with 3:11 left in the quarter.

Indiana eventually got its lead up to 16 points in the fourth quarter.

NOTES: Longtime Knicks fan Spike Lee reportedly offered $40,000 for four tickets next to the Pacers bench for Game 2, but seat owner Stewart Reed turned down Lee. Reed brought up Lee's proposal while visiting Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where his business is primary sponsor on Ed Carpenter's No. 20 car entered in the 97th Indy 500. ... Ian Mahinmi was back in the lineup as Hibbert's backup at center. Pacers coach Frank Vogel decided to go back to Mahinmi because he wants to have a rim protector on the court. Vogel used Jeff Pendergraph in the second half of Game 2. "Pendergraph is an exceptional playmaker in scramble situations New York likes to put you in with its defense and he's a decent rim protector," Vogel said. "Ian is an elite rim protector." ... Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire made his playoff debut after being out for two months following knee surgery. Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Stoudemire will be limited to 10 to 15 minutes per game for the time being.
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